First time I met Stan Rogers I was watching my friend John play at a little coffeehouse at the Jewish Community Centre in Hamilton. John was in the middle of a song, probably “If I Was a Carpenter,” when the door swung open and a giant silhouette back-lit by the streetlights proclaimed, “hi! I’m Stan Rogers, just back from playin’ little honky-tonks and bars all across northern Ontario…and I’d be happy to play for you!” John never quite recovered.
Next time I met Stan was at Bill Powell’s third floor apartment just off Gore Park in downtown Hamilton. I was there to audition for a folk festival. I knocked on the door, heard a voice call, “come on in; it’s open!” Stan was listening to a young duo. I took my guitar out of its case to tune up. The duo left. Stan said, “Before you start, I have to show you something.” We walked the length of the apartment to the front bedroom. Bill Powell, painter, head of Creative Arts, founder of Festival of Friends, and all 'round local legend, lay stark naked, passed out on the bed not unlike Santiago at the end of The Old Man & the Sea.